The alarm sounds and you're off: Onto checking emails, finding car keys and, if you're lucky, brushing your hair.
The madness, the rush of it all -- it's got to stop. Adding intention into your morning routine is in your best interest: It sets the tone for the rest of your day, and may ultimately reflect how productive, happy and calm you'll be for your following waking hours.
You have the power to wake up on the right side of the bed every single morning for the rest of your life.
"If the first thing you do in the morning isn’t 100 percent for you, selfishly, then the rest of your day will be spent not doing anything for you," writes Micah Baldwin, founder and CEO of Graphicly. "Find something that is yours, and yours alone," Baldwin advises. He personally sets two alarms separated by 30 minutes and gets out of bed at the sound of the second. The ritual has him appreciating sleep.
Take a cue from Baldwin. There are several things you can do, without leaving your bed, that'll ensure a fantastic day ahead. So before you roll out of the comfort of your warm, cozy nest, consider these eight rituals below.
Don't reach for that phone.
These days, we're programmed to check our phones for emails and messages the minute that very device goes off to wake us. In fact, 63 percent of smartphone users age 18-29 admit to taking a cell phone, smartphone or tablet to bed with them at night (meaning, it's just as easy to find in the morning).
Innocently checking your inbox first thing may put a damper on the rest of your day: This plays into the idea of starting your first minutes with something selfish and just for you. If you're checking your email, you're working to respond to someone else's needs, without first acknowledging your own.
To remedy, buy yourself a good, old-fashioned alarm clock and keep your phone in the other room while you sleep -- you won't be tempted to reach for it.
Visualize your wonderful day ahead.
Thoughts become things. There is power to visualization: Simply picture yourself accomplishing your goals for the day in stride, and you'll be closer to doing so. For years, athletes have used this trick to see themselves through to the finish line, and there's no reason you can't do the same.
There is nothing -- nothing -- like an enormous arm stretch first thing in the morning, accompanied by a bear-esque yawn. It just feels so good. Even better, greeting the day with a great, big stretch can actually help to wake you up: The act works to increase your flexibility, improves circulation and relieves tension.
Take it a little further with some bed-friendly yoga.
Yep -- you can sneak in some om without rolling out your yoga mat. The bed is just the perfect place to do a few particular moves -- like a reclining goddess pose or a forward bend. "Yoga is a great way to unwind from stress or greet the day," Vyda Bielkus told The Huffington Post. Find 9 poses you can do straight from the sac here.
Mentally list three things for which you're grateful.
One of the greatest things about gratitude -- besides the fact that it can boost your mood, increase your energy levels and amplify your resilience -- is that you can practice it anywhere. Even groggily, your day will benefit from some positive thinking first thing.
Practice a bit of meditation.
You needn't sit for hours surrounded by candles to reap the great benefits of mindfulness meditation. A daily practice of just 15-minutes of meditation has been shown to increase productivity, relieve stress and boost happiness. Gives your usual rushed cup of coffee a run for its money, no? While you wake, practice being present just where you are. New to meditation? Find Andy Puddicombe's simple, 10-step guide for beginners here.
Journal, why don't you?
Whether you decide to jot down your dreams from the night before, your goals for the day to come or scattered thoughts is up to you: The physical act of writing with a pen may get your creative juices flowing. Virginia Berninger, professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington, explains that the act stimulates a much larger portion of the brain’s thinking and "working memory" regions than does typing. And a little hand-scribbling also might offer a little relief if you're in the routine of typing on keys all day long.
Wake up to your favorite song.
That special tune that makes you feel on top of the world? Let it be the soundtrack of day. Listening to the right, happy beat can enhance your emotional state (Here are 26 happy tunes to get you started).
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Erector Spinae (Low Back)
Bring both knees to the chest by first raising one and then holding the knee with both hands. Then raise the other knee. Grasping both knees, pull them down to the chest. Relax.
Gluteus Maximus (Buttocks)
Lying on your back with both knees bent, cross the left leg over the right. Using both hands, pull your right knee toward your chest. You should feel a stretch in the buttocks on your left side. Repeat on the opposite side.
Lie on your back with your knees bent. In this relaxed position, the small of your back will not be touching the bed. Tighten your abdominal muscles so that the small of your back presses falt against the bed. Hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat 3 times and gradually build to 10 repetitions.
Lie on your back with both legs straight. Bring one knee up to your chest, pressing the small of your back into the floor (pelvic tilt). Hold for five seconds and repeats five times. Repeat on opposite leg.
The piriformis muscle runs through the buttock and can contribute to back and leg pain. To stretch this muscle, lie on your back and cross one leg over the other; gently pull the knee toward your chest until you feel a stretch in the buttock. Hold for 30 seconds. Relax. Repeat 3 times.